Picture this: You’ve been fighting against the crowds in Magic Kingdom all morning long, your kids (if you have them) are ready for a nap, and let’s face it — you might be ready for a nap (or a drink!) soon too.
But, you need food and FAST. A quick-service spot won’t cut it since you need a real break. Enter Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort — this sit-down spot offers a relaxing respite from the parks and is an underrated favorite of ours. But does it still hold up? Come with us to find out!
The Grand Floridian Cafe is located inside Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa, which is a short Monorail ride or walk from Magic Kingdom. This table service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with brunch foods available for breakfast and lunch. They’re especially known for their chicken and waffles with hot honey and lobster-topped burger.
For whatever reason, this spot can often fly under the radar. Because it is not on everyone’s must-get lists, it can be a lot easier to snag a reservation here than at other table service spots. And as a bonus, it’s not that difficult to get to from Magic Kingdom!
Grand Floridian Cafe has Victorian-style decor like the rest of Grand Floridian Resort. You’ll notice this style through the details throughout the restaurant, like the warm lighting, florals, and more ornate furnishings.
Inside the cafe, there is indoor seating, with a mix of tables and booths.
We were seated inside when we visited!
You may also find some outdoor seating on the covered patio. In the past, we’ve seen Grand Floridian Cafe provide outdoor seating here, but it isn’t always available.
Be sure to check and see what things are like during your trip.
You’ll find breakfast, lunch, and dinner here, with some pretty hearty brunch fare served during breakfast and lunch — available through 2PM.
You’ll find quite a few salads, sandwiches, and other classic entrees at this spot during lunch and dinner as well, along with desserts and drinks! We visited during the lunch and dinner service, and had our fill of some classic eats!
Things immediately started off on a good note when we were brought these warm and fluffy dinner rolls and butter. If you’re looking to win us over, the answer is almost always carbs. These were your standard dinner roll, but there’s nothing wrong with that!
We decided to opt for the Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail appetizer for $16. It’s served with a citrus-avocado salad and cocktail sauce. We didn’t notice anything particularly “jumbo” about these shrimp, they seemed pretty standard-sized to us. They were seasoned and cooked well, juicy, and not too dry.
The avocado salad was fresh and really complemented the fresh seafood flavor of the shrimp. The cocktail sauce was heavy on the horseradish, but overall this was an enjoyable dish.
Next up, we ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken for $26. It’s hand-breaded chicken breast with loaded smashed potatoes and warmed bacon vinaigrette. Are you drooling yet?!
WOW. The chicken breast was so tender and juicy, while the outside breading remained so crispy. The bacon vinaigrette really added a wonderful glaze and flavor on top of the chicken, while the mashed potatoes were fluffy, creamy, and soaked up that bacon flavor really well.
If you’re a fan of fried chicken, we’d definitely suggest giving this a shot.
We also tried the Lobster Thermidor Burger for $26. This dish is an artisanal 70z. burger patty and lobster-parmesan thermidor sauce on a seared brioche bun served with cafe signature seasoned french fries.
If you’re looking for a hearty meal, this might be it! We ordered our burger cooked medium and received just that. The brioche bun was soft and warm, and added a subtle sweetness to the whole thing.
The true standout, though, was the lobster thermidor sauce. It was so flavorful, thanks to the lobster chunks, parmesan, and green onions. Definitely a must-try if you like a little reef and beef in your life.
What’s our final verdict?
Nosh or Not
You should dine at Grand Floridian Cafe if…
- You’re looking for a relaxing, sit-down lunch near Magic Kingdom that’s not inside the park.
- You want reliably good food with a decent variety to choose from.
- You want the experience of dining at the Grand Floridian without shelling out for Victoria & Albert’s.
You should skip Grand Floridian Cafe if…
- You don’t want to take time out of your day for a sit-down meal.
- You’re not visiting Magic Kingdom and would need to make a special trip here — there are better “must-do” restaurants to go out of your way for!
- You’re looking for classic theme park eats like hot dogs, pretzels, turkey legs, and more.
Give Grand Floridian Cafe a try if you’re looking for some classic dishes with an upscale twist. At just a short walk or monorail ride from Magic Kingdom, it can make for a great respite during your park day. Take the time to walk around this gorgeous resort and see all it has to offer while you’re there! If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, you might want to head over to the Polynesian Resort instead.
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Have you eaten at Grand Floridian Cafe? Let us know in the comments!
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